“My first time trying on dresses, I made sure to try on every style,” says April. “My mom knew she wanted to see me in a mermaid dress, but I wanted to make sure it fit my body type. I made sure to try on every style.”
“The first thing I bought was my shoes,” says April. “I knew I wanted yellow shoes to go along with my wedding colors. I honestly think I spent more time searching for shoes than for my dress.” We love the casual and modern looks she choose for her big day.
“We used yellow and white english roses,” says April. “They are beautiful. I wanted peonies originally, but they weren't in season. The English roses still gave me that full romantic look I wanted. And to top it off, I had bling pin accents in my bouquet.”
“Don't be afraid to give love a try,” April insists. “If someone would've said I would meet my husband on a social network I would've never believed them! If your girls cancel on you, go to happy hour anyway. You never know where your life partner may be waiting for you.”
“Liz Fields designed my bridesmaids dresses,” April shares. “I knew I wanted the ladies in yellow and the guys in grey so that both colors would be shown. I gave the girls a splash of grey with their sashes and the guys had yellow bow ties.”
“I knew that I wanted to make April my wife on a random Monday night when I was almost hit by an out of control car while letting her into the passenger’s side,” says Donte. “I had to dive from the back our car over the roof to not get crushed. After that, I knew that I could not stand to live without this woman as my wife.”
“My alma mater has a gorgeous wedding space,” April shares. “They picked me as the winner for a contest they were having, and I was able to have my wedding there with no charge. It was such a blessing.”
“We did hire a wedding planner,” says April. “Her name is Sophie, the CEO of Events by Sophie. She made sure I stayed on a timeline and executed everything the day of. She was definitely needed even though I knew what I wanted. You still have to have someone who you can trust with your vision and someone who can execute it flawlessly. And, she and her team did more than that.”
“When I walked out I only looked at him my entire walk down the aisle,” April admits. “I couldn't have told you whether it was 1 or 100 people there at that moment. It was everything; a feeling I can't even explain.”
“My mom’s pastor married us,” the bride shares. “He and his wife have been nothing but great since we met them. He recently relocated to North Carolina and his last duty in Maryland was marrying us. It was definitely bittersweet.”
April and Donté completed a cord ceremony at the altar. “Basically there are three colored strands and one represents God, one the bride and one the groom,” she explains. “He held the ring and I braided it. The thought is that if you have God in the center a cord of three strands it is not easily broken.”
“Looking into April's eyes at the altar I felt nervous, overjoyed, scared, elated and like the absolute luckiest man in the world (cliche I know) but that is how I felt and that feeling will never wear off,” says Donté.
“When I planned my life out as a teenager, I thought I'd be married by 24 and done with kids by 27, but that wasn't in my plan,” says April. “Thank goodness I didn't give up on love because it didn’t happen by the time I thought it would. There are people finding love all ages and all facets of life. Embrace it let love in!”
Essence.com is part of the Time Inc. Style Collection and the Time Inc. Lifestyle Network. Essence may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.